All photos and text by Jack Rothman
All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.

Updated 5/26/15
Copyright 2015

Located in the Bronx, New York, City Island is a small island, approximately one mile long and a quarter mile wide. City Island is surrounded by Eastchester Bay on one side and Long Island Sound on the other. Its bridge attaches to a roadway adjacent to Pelham Bay Park, New York City's largest park. In this area, and in the waters and wetlands, in and around City Island, many bird species thrive. Here, several and varied migratory birds are found. This website was created to help study, appreciate, and protect all the birds of this area.

Save Forests and Save Birds

Ancient Boreal forests are being cut down for 
Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels and Catalogs!

City Island Birds
Since 2007

Birding Advocacy

Welcome to City Island Birds. I created this website because this area of New York City is little known and underutilized by birdwatchers and other nature lovers. Pelham Bay Park, with its woods and wetlands is a critical stopover and nesting area to many migratory species.

Photos and Results of Our Past Walks
2007- 2011

Owl Walk- March 24
Owlet Walk April 15, 2012
Spring “Migration Madness” Walk- May 6
Clapper Rail Walk- May 27   
Fall Migration Walk- Sept. 23, 2012
Migration Walk- October 14, 2012
Last Minute Barred Owl Walk- Dec. 9, 2012
Bronx Brooklyn Walk- January 12
Spring Migration Walk- May 5
Three Club Walk-  August 24
Fall Migration Walk 2013
Owlet Walk- April 13
Spring Migration Walk -May 10
Fall Migration Walk-October 12
After Thanksgiving Walk- Nov. 20

Early Spring Walk- April 12
Second Spring Migration Walk- May 3Previous_Birdwalks.htmlOwl_Walk.htmlOwlet_Walk.htmlMigration_Madness.htmlClapper_Rail_walk.htmlFall_Migration_Walk.htmlFall_Migration_2012.htmlbarred_Owl_Walk.htmlBronx_Brooklyn_Walk.htmlSpring_Migration_2013.htmlThree_Club_Walk.htmlFall_Migration_2013.htmlOwlet_Walk_2014.htmlSpring_Migration_2014.htmlFall_Migration_2014.htmlAfter-Thanksgiving.htmlAfter-Thanksgiving.htmlEarly_Spring_2015.htmlSEcond_Spring_Migration_Walk.htmlshapeimage_10_link_0shapeimage_10_link_1shapeimage_10_link_2shapeimage_10_link_3shapeimage_10_link_4shapeimage_10_link_5shapeimage_10_link_6shapeimage_10_link_7shapeimage_10_link_8shapeimage_10_link_9shapeimage_10_link_10shapeimage_10_link_11shapeimage_10_link_12shapeimage_10_link_13shapeimage_10_link_14shapeimage_10_link_15shapeimage_10_link_16shapeimage_10_link_17shapeimage_10_link_18


Barnacle Goose at Orchard Beach

Jack Rothman


Traveling and Birding the Amazon

Several people have requested information about our trip to the Amazon.

Birding Interest- Past Articles

Important and Useful

The Wild Bird Fund   (Animal Rehabber)

New York Tide Chart

Urban Park Rangers

NY State Parks

Birdcast (Migration Reports)


City Island?
Pelham Bay Park Map
City Island Community
Directions Here
City Island Birding ClubCIB_Club.html

Marsh Wrens are normally easily seen here. With the construction and drainage of Turtle Pond I’m not sure what will happen.

This stunning Scarlet Tanager was photographed in the parking lot at Rodman’s Neck.

Binocular and Smartphone Help

If you’re not familiar with how your computer or smartphone can help you be a better and more successful birder, you should read my little primer, link here.

If you need or want a new pair of binoculars, you might want to begin here. Binoculars have really changed in the last few years. You can get a fantastic pair for a few hundred dollars and a really good pair for less than $200. Years ago, there wasn’t nearly as much choice. You should link here for ratings.

The Kazimiroff Nature Trail of Hunter Island
You may have noticed the new signs posted along the paths on Hunter island. The numbers correlate to different features of the “Island.” If you link below, you can find out what each sign post means. Dr. Kazimiroff was a noted Bronx naturalist. The trail marked in his honor winds through the largest and most natural of all of NYC parks. This area was once hunting and fishing grounds and the site of huge mansions. To find out more, print and bring the guide with you on your next walk. Kazimiroff Trail.pdf


We usually have Eastern Kingbirds on Turtle Pond. I’m hoping that water will begin to fill the pond again in a day or so, hopefully some species will return.

Another of our nesting species is the Common Yellowthroat. This is a singing male.


This is the only Orange -crowned Warbler I’ve ever seen and photographed in the park.


If you come to Pelham Bay Park you are almost guaranteed to see a Baltimore Oriole. They nest here along with Orchard Orioles.

Some Migration but Nesting Season Begins

Reports throughout the area indicate a slowing down of the arrival of migratory species. Some are here to stay and nest, while others are moving on to their breeding territories. Here in the park, we have many species that stay and nest. You can find them by linking, on this page, located in the lower right hand corner, “Bird Interest-Past Articles” Find the “Complete Species Account of the Birds of Pelham Bay Park.” Here the nesting species are checked off. 

The construction at Turtle Cove has not been good for the ecosystem there. For weeks the pond was flooded. Then it spend weeks dry and drained and recently water was allowed to flow back. However, it has been dry again for the past few days. Many bird species nest near or in Turtle Cove pond. I’ve seen Yellow Warbler, Red-winged Blackbird, Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbirds,  Tree Swallows, Marsh Wrens and many varieties of sparrows nest in this area. Obviously there are other species that nest here as well. Without proper tidal flow, vital nutrients are not brought to the grasses. Insects, worms, fish, algae, plants and crustacean are some of the important foods that these birds depend on for survival here. So no grass, or dead grass is terrible. I know that the Parks Department spent a small fortune using herbicides to get rid of the invasive plant species here a few years ago. They planted thousands of native grass plants into the pond. I have no idea if the grasses will survive. Right now the whole ecosystem of the pond is teetering on ruin. I’m hoping that construction will end every soon, however it’s too late for most birds who normally nest here at Turtle Cove. This whole operation was poorly planned.

Late May- Sooty Shearwater, Wilson's Storm Petrel, Black Tern, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Alder/ Willow Flycatcher, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Mourning Warbler, Nelson’s Sparrow.

Remember, these arrivals are in addition to birds that have already arrived.